The Punisher, Vol. 1: Welcome Back, Frank by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Punisher is back from the dead and ready to take out the Gnucci family. Meanwhile, the unluckiest cop in NYC is on his trail and several copycat vigilantes have arisen.
I was never a fan of the Punisher but I read this series in single issues as it came out because I was a huge fan of Preacher, and consequently, the tag team of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.
It's not Preacher set in the Marvel Universe but it has some of the same flavor. There's a lot of humor for a Punisher book and the usual amount of violence. The Punisher disposes of the Gnucci family in some creative ways, such as using piranhas and polar bears. He also kills about 100 mobsters, The Russian, and disposes of some copycats and random street criminals. Pretty par for the course.
Ennis does a lot to expand the Punisher's supporting cast. Soap and Molly, and all the Punisher's neighbors are a lot more fleshed out than I'd expect in a comic that's primarily about criminals getting mowed down by a vigilante. The art by Dillon is much like his art on Preacher. It sets the tone and gets the job done.
Garth Ennis' run put the Punisher back on the map after he was over-exposed in the eighties and nineties and turned into some kind of avenging angel, bringing him back to his roots. If you're a fan of the Punisher post-2000, this is a must-read. 4 out of 5 stars.
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